Day 116: Order in the Court

Acts 19:35-41 :

When the town clerk had quieted the multitude, he said, “You men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn’t know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great goddess Artemis, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Seeing then that these things can’t be denied, you ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here, who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a matter against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them press charges against one another. But if you seek anything about other matters, it will be settled in the regular assembly. For indeed we are in danger of being accused concerning this day’s riot, there being no cause. Concerning it, we wouldn’t be able to give an account of this commotion.” When he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.

In all the human chaos spoken of in this passage, God was still in control. Even when everything appears to be against God, He knows what He is doing. God is still in charge even when governments hate Him. God is able to make government officials do anything He wants them to. That’s what the Bible says.

Proverbs 21:1 :

The king’s heart is in Yahweh’s hand like the watercourses.
He turns it wherever he desires.

These people were violating Roman laws by their behavior and they really were at risk of being accused of starting a riot. No one had done anything wrong yet and what they were doing was very disorderly because what the people were doing was motivated by fear not justice. Governments, even though they are often very evil, still are used by God because He can make them do whatever He wants. This is not to say that we shouldn’t pray for free governments that allow Christians and Jews to live in peace, however. In this case, the government in Ephesus was willing to conduct orderly hearings but was unwilling to allow a riot to continue.

May God bless our government so that it allows God’s people to live peaceful lives. We should pray to that end because God is the one who can make the difference. Since it is God who can really change things, we should take the time to ask Him.